British marsh harriers saved from brink of extinction

Marsh harrier

The British Broadcasting Corporation reports:

A bird of prey is thriving throughout the UK, 35 years after it was on the brink of extinction.

A crackdown on toxic pesticides and persecution has helped boost numbers of marsh harriers to a 200-year high.

In 1971, just one pair remained at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds‘ Minsmere reserve in Suffolk.

By 2005, 360 breeding females were recorded in parts of eastern England, the Cambridgeshire Fens, Kent, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Scotland.

The birds are known for their spectacular aerial courtship display.

See and hear marsh harrier sound and video.


Tiger cubs born: see video. Other young animals

This video says about itself:

It’s a special day for three very rare white tiger cubs in Chile. They’re making their public debut at Santiago Zoo.

Recently, in Ouwehand’s zoo in The Netherlands, three tiger cubs were born.

An older entry, from my ModBlog cache, 6 May 2006:

Many young animals were born this spring in Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

They include four swift foxes from North America.

Also the white-naped cranes have two chicks.

And two young Mhorr gazelle.

And one young addax.

Also one young Southern crowned pigeon.

Colombia: painted frog, thought extinct, still alive

Atelopus flavescens, a related species in Colombia

From Biology News Net:

Researchers exploring a Colombian mountain range found surviving members of a species of Harlequin frog believed extinct due to a killer fungus wiping out amphibian populations in Central and South America.

The discovery of what could be the last population of the painted frog (Atelopus ebenoides marinkellei) indicates the species has survived the fungus, providing hope that other species also might avoid elimination from the epidemic caused by a pathogenic fungus of unknown origin.

Also on this from LiveScience:

The painted frog was last seen in 1995.

“The scientific importance of the finding must motivate us to adopt urgent measures toward saving the last of these amphibians, both in the wild and through captive breeding programs,” said Fabio Arjona, executive director of Conservation International in Colombia.

“That will require a lot of support from the local and international communities.”

USA, Former Nazi Removed From Space Hall of Fame

Strughold, the nazi

Associated Press reports:

Former Nazi Removed From Space Hall of Fame

May 18th

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. – A former Nazi scientist who was linked to experiments on prisoners in the Dachau concentration camp in Germany has been ousted from the International Space Hall of Fame.

Hubertus Strughold, who had been honored in 1978 for work in developing the spacesuit and space capsule and for his contributions to space medicine, was removed last week by unanimous vote of the New Mexico Museum of Space History’s commission.

The German-born scientist was brought to this country by the U.S. military after World War II to work on aerospace projects. He died in 1987.

The removal process began last fall after a museum visitor noticed Strughold’s name in its hall of fame and notified the New Mexico Anti-Defamation League, said Susan Seligman, the league’s regional director.

The league uncovered records of Strughold’s past and presented them to the commission.

Strughold was linked to experiments on concentration camp prisoners in the 1940s as the Nazi director of medical research for aviation, Seligman said, though she said she did not know of him personally conducting experiments.

Strughold’s name was removed from Brooks Air Force Base’s aero-medical library in 1995 and his picture was removed from the mural “The World History of Medicine” at Ohio State University in 1993, the Anti-Defamation League said.

Newly unearthed documents challenge whether Wernher von Braun, Nazi physicist and crucial figure in the US space programme, was really the inventor of Hitler’s infamous V-2 rocket: here.

United Nations: Bush, close down Guantanamo Bay and other torture centers. US censorship of film poster

Guantanamo Bay torture, cartoon

The United Nations Committee against Torture has called on the United States Bush administration to close down Guantanamo Bay camp and other torture centers.

From Cinematical (USA):

MPAA Censors Guantanamo Poster

Posted May 18th 2006 12:31PM by Martha Fischer

Just a day after we reported on censorship in other parts of the world (assuming, perhaps, that films in the US escape such restrictions) comes the news that American authorities are getting into the act, as well. Fan-freaking-tastic.

According to press reports, the MPAA has objected to the poster that Roadside Attractions was planning to use to promote their American release of [movie] The Road to Guantanamo.

The original poster depicts a prisoner hanging from chained wrists, with a burlap bag over his head — nothing more, said Roadside president Howard Cohen, than a reflection of “what it is we are doing to people in Guantanamo.”

The censored original The Road to Guantanamo poster

More posters of that film: here.

See also here.

And here.

Not only The Road to Guantanamo, but also the film Baghdad ER faces censorship; from the Pentagon of Donald Rumsfeld.